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(Harrisburg) — Death, though universal, can be a difficult topic of discussion.

A series of midstate events – dubbed “death cafes” – have a goal of starting the conversation.

The death cafe model started in London in 2011 and is designed to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their lives.

There’s no set agenda, so the topics can vary widely, from wills, to what happens to a person’s body after death, to ghosts.

“This is a journey that, of course, everybody will make–that is, transitioning from life to death–but we just don’t know what’s next. So, lots of people will talk about lots of things,” said Brian Long, lead coordinator for Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources for the Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon service area, which is organizing the events. 

One constant is tea, coffee and cake will be always served at the death cafes.

Organizers will have information available, but no vendors selling services are allowed.

Long emphasized the cafes are not grieving sessions.

‘But it’s an opportunity to just talk with others about those things that, curiously, they’re maybe not willing or incapable of talking with family members or other people about,” he said.

Three upcoming cafes are scheduled in Lancaster County, in Columbia, Bainbridge, and Lancaster city.

The Lancaster event will be bilingual for English and Spanish speakers — a first for the county.

The events are scheduled as follows:

Thursday, August 29, 6-8 p.m. at Rose’s Deli and More, 13 N. Fourth St. Columbia.

Sunday, September 15, from 1-3 p.m. at Nissley Vineyards, 140 Vintage Dr. Bainbridge.

Thursday, September 19, 5:30-7 p.m. at Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home, 414 E. King St. Lancaster. 

RSVP for an event by calling 717-380-9714 or emailing